Vikings Week 6 Opponent Atlanta Falcons Stopping Team Activities Over Positive COVID-19 Test [UPDATED]
UPDATE 10/15/20 9:29 am:
The Atlanta Falcons are correcting early reports that there were 4 positive tests, stating there is only one positive test within the organization, and it is a personnel member and not a player.
Schefter tweeted this update following his initial report that a source stated there were 4 positive tests within the Falcons organization. As of right now, the status of the game is still to proceed as planned on Sunday at noon, despite the team shutting down team facilities Thursday 'out of an abundance of caution'.
ORIGINAL STORY --
With the Tennessee Titans getting back to action this week after about two weeks of not practicing in person or playing games after a team COVID-19 outbreak, some felt as though the NFL could return to some sense of scheduling normalcy. Even though there have been a few individual positive tests for players on other teams, there haven’t been any outbreaks that have led to significant schedule changes. That could change this week.
ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter reported Thursday morning that the Atlanta Falcons have multiple positive COVID-19 tests, leading to a shutdown of team facilities and suspension of in-person team practices.
Reports of at least 4 positive tests within the Falcons organization are putting this weekend’s matchup against the Minnesota Vikings at US Bank Stadium ‘in jeopardy’.
Schefter goes on to clarify that an official with the team says they are “still working through the details” and say that not all four of the reported positive tests are confirmed.
This marks the second time in the still young 2020 NFL season that the Minnesota Vikings have been indirectly impacted by COVID-19. The Tennessee Titans had several positive tests just after playing the Vikings at US Bank Stadium in week 3, however the Vikings dodged a bullet and did not see any positive tests. The team did, however, have to stop team activities for a time in the week following the Titans game.
The week 6 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons at US Bank Stadium is now up in the air as Falcons and league officials assess the situation just a few days away from the game. The game is scheduled for noon on Sunday, but could be moved.
If there is a decision to move the game to a later date, it is unclear when they would play. The Vikings do have a bye the following week, but the Falcons are scheduled to play the Detroit Lions that weekend. There have been games that have been moved from Sunday to Monday or Tuesday of a game week to allow for additional time to see if more positive tests develop, so that could also be the initial plan. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodall has also discussed the idea of adding a buffer “week 18” to the schedule for makeup games before the playoffs start, though that has not been made official yet. With this news just breaking this morning, there are a lot of unknowns that make it difficult to anticipate what will happen with this weekend’s game.
This is a developing story, and we will have further information as it becomes available.